VHP wants Shah, Yogi to be included in Ayodhya temple trust

Centre started the process of setting up a temple trust in Ayodhya, as mandated by the Supreme Court, after the Supreme Court verdict. Photo: PTI

Days after the Centre began the process of constituting a trust for construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, as mandated by the Supreme Court, right-wing organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has suggested that Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath be included in it.

VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma on Wednesday (November 13) reiterated the outfit’s hope that the trust would build a grand temple as per the design prepared by the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas (RJN).

The Nyas has been running a sprawling workshop in Ayodhya’s Karsewakpuram since 1990 and artisans and craftsmen have fashioned out magnificently carved stones and pillars over these years, with the assumption that one day it woukd be used to build a temple for Ram Lallah.

As per the plan of the RJN, the temple, once built, will be 268 ft long, 140 ft wide and 128 ft high, from the ground to the apex point (Shikhar) and a total of 212 pillars will be used, said 79-year-old Annu Bhai Sompura, in-charge of the workshop. The Ram Janmabhomi Nyas is supported by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, whose members volunteer services at the workshop.

“Over these nearly 30 years since the inception of the workshop, we have been taking the design of this temple to people’s homes through various means of communication. Devotees too have taken pictures and videos and spread the word. So, that is the dominant image of a Ram temple in the consciousness of the people,” Sharma said.

“We are hopeful that the new trust that the government will constitute will not only have representation from the RJN, but will also build the grand temple as per the architectural plan made by the Nyas,” he said.

A wooden model of a proposed Ram Temple in a glass encasement has been kept at the workshop site for over two decades, and many devotees stream in from various parts of India to see the model and beautifully-carved stones, after visiting the Ramjanmabhoomi site.

“We also feel that Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi be made a part of the trust, and if needed, exceptions be made for their inclusion,” Sharma told PTI, and cited Sree Somnath Trusts inception to buttress his point.

“K M Munshi, who was at that time [early post Independence] a minister in the Union cabinet, was in it [Somnath trust]. The Ram temple trust should be formed on the lines of the Somnath trust,” he added.

Settling a fractious issue that goes back more than a century, the Supreme Court in a historic verdict on Saturday backed the construction of a Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and ruled that an alternative five-acre plot must be found for a mosque in the Hindu holy town.

Days after the judgement, the Centre has started the process of setting up a trust, as mandated by the apex court in its Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid verdict, with a team of officers examining the order threadbare, officials said on Monday.

Opinions of the Ministry of Law and the attorney general will be taken on how to proceed on setting up the trust that will fix the modalities for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. A team of officials have been tasked with studying the top court order threadbare for its technicality and nuances so that the trust can be constituted exactly as per the verdict.

Asked what were his expectations on the role of the RJN in the proposed trust, Sharma said, “I am very optimistic that the Ramjanmabhom Nyas, which has been given the land by the apex court in its historic verdict, will be accorded a priority given its background struggle to get a temple built at the site.”

Nearly 65 per cent of the work on carving of stones has been completed and the section needed for the ground floor of the temple as per the design of the RJN is ready, he said, adding, “the work was going on till four months ago, but halted now”.
The stones are carefully numbered and can be joined like a “jigsaw puzzle” using white cement when needed, the VHP leader said.

At the workshop, some of the pink sandstones which were carved intricately in the early 90s have darkened over the decades but these will be washed up once the time comes for their use, said Hanuman Yadav, a VHP worker and caretaker and guardian of the workshop, as he points towards lintels and columns and ceiling blocks, bearing beautiful floral motifs.
He also claimed that demands have come from some quarters to include Muslim representatives in the trust.

The framework of the trust is yet to emerge, so it is “wait and watch” as of now, he added.
Asked if the proposed trust draws out a fresh plan for the Ram temple, Sharma said, “We are very optimistic about the RJN plan getting accepted by the trust, or at least be included in the grand temple design. These stones have been carved over decades with money donated by people.”